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I’ve noticed that when I check the Date Modified for a folder and then open it, some files inside have a Date Modified later than the folder itself. This is confusing, because I sometimes sort folders by date only to find later that there're folders with stuff that was modified later. I'm using MacOS High Sierra.

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Folders (on MacOS) are more generally called directories, and that's a better description. Each folder is a list of its contents. A folder is modified when the list changes, that is, when a item (a file or a sub-folder) is added, moved or deleted from the list.

Modifying a folder's files or sub-folders does not change the list, so changing a file does not change the folder's modification date. If a file or sub-folder is added or deleted from the folder, then the list is changed and the folder's modification date changes. That's why a folder's modification date is often older that the modification dates of its contents.

Here are some other questions and answers that mention the same issue.

  • Should be accepted. – JBis Jul 11 '18 at 19:06

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